By Michelle Jones - email
(RNN) – Some things once seen cannot be unseen. And one of those is this week's cover of Time.
The news magazine's cover depicts a 3-year-old boy latched on to his mother's partially exposed left breast. Both of them are holding your gaze in a joint, non-verbal, "What are you looking at?" expression.
This mother is no model. Her name is Jamie Lynne Grumet, and that's her real-life son.
Grumet is one of the mothers featured in the magazine's story about "attachment parenting."
Attachment parenting is a child-rearing philosophy that embraces eight principles meant to foster strong emotional connections between parents and their children. Some of those principles include co-sleeping, something called "baby wearing" and of course, extended nursing.
The term became popular after Dr. Bill Sears and his wife Martha released their parenting book, The Baby Book, in 1992. But baby boomers may remember hippies were nursing their 3-year-old children four decades ago as well.
(Disclosure: This writer was one of those children. Ahem.)
Even seen-everything journalists were shocked.
"3 of us in the @BBJNewsroom are now gathered around the Time magazine cover, jaws on the floor," tweeted @GalenMoore.
Time says the philosophy behind the photo was the desire to drive home the point that a child old enough to stand and suckle at his mother's breast was not a typical sight.
"It was important to show that there's no stereotypical look for a mom who practices this kind of parenting," said photographer Martin Schoeller on the magazine's website.